Consumer Advocate: The Dr Martens #solegate saga part 2!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

A while back I posted about how I discovered that my classic Dr Martens shoes had developed split soles (read the original post here!). Although four or five years since I had purchased them, they had seen little use and I was very surprised to find that the soles, while displaying marginal wear elsewhere, had split along the sides, opening the core to the elements.

Dr Martens split soles on almost unused new shoes.

Dr Martens split soles on almost unused new shoes.

Action must be taken!

Not being one to ignore such matters, I contacted Customer Service at Dr Martens and explained the situation. The Customer Service contact at Dr Martens was suitably sympathetic to my plight, but would initially offer no more than that the damaged was due to wear and tear. Naturally, given that there was little wear involved I couldn’t accept such tear. After consideration, they asked me to return my shoes for inspection.

A month went by without word, though when asked they said the shoes had been sent for repair. An acceptable outcome, and certainly better than continuing to use a pair of shoes that would no doubt degrade further rather rapidly.

A brand new pair of classic Dr Martens arrive!

A brand new pair of classic Dr Martens arrive!

We have a result!

Imagine my surprise when I returned home to the lair today and found a box had been delivered from Dr Martens! Containing a brand spanking shiny new pair of the classic 1461 shoes, with yellow stitching, shiny uppers and perfectly moulded soles! An outcome I really had not expected, but very much appreciate.

In fact, I’m quite gobsmacked, as Dr Martens was under no obligation to supply me a new pair, and even repairing my shoes would have been outside of their commitments under consumer law. Given that they are a huge and rapidly expanding company these days, far from the family owned company of yore, I was expecting a treatment far less accommodating than how it turned out.

So, in all: Well done, Dr Martens, you stood behind your product and made good! Thank you for my new shoes, may the soles wear well and many gruelling walks be endured.

Liked it? Take a second to support nick on Patreon!


  • Richard D Trenholm (@rich_trenholm) 19/03/2015 at 19:49

    Exact same thing happened to me (the same split between the dark and light section of the sole) and I’d only owned mine eight months. When I contacted DM they asked me to email a picture, then agreed to repair them – and I too was chuffed to receive a brand new pair. Can’t fault the service

  • clyde 16/10/2016 at 22:12

    dad power …. 🙂

    • nick 16/10/2016 at 22:15

      Believe it 🙂

  • Lundchris 12/04/2017 at 17:56

    I was in a DM store asking about a repair/refurbishment because I have a pair of Made in England Steads and I was a bit disappointed they don’t do this at their Cobb’s lane factory. I was told Timpsons can do a DM resole, but it’s never quite the same as getting them on the original lasts.

  • Carl 23/11/2017 at 15:30

    I have had the same issue with my daughters shoes.. both soles coming away from the uppers.. I contacted Dr Marten but they refused to even look at the shoes as they where not purchased from them directly but off the highstreet.. 7 moth old shoes that are in wearable.. any advice here??

    • nick 23/11/2017 at 20:40

      I’d keep at them. At the end of the day it’s Doc Martens that made them and should stand behind the product. Who buys shoes direct from them anyhow? Mine certainly didn’t come from them. I’d talk to the shop as well though.

  • Carl 23/11/2017 at 15:35

    forgot to mention.. the highstreet chain would not address the issue as receipt was not produced.. who would think to keep a 12 month receipt for Dr Martens when they usually last 10 years without issue.. and are they not still Dr Martens product regardless of where they where purchased.. the fault was with the manufacturing of the shoes full stop

    • nick 23/11/2017 at 20:45

      I agree totally. Doc Martens used to be a solid and safe choice. Falling apart after half a year is not acceptable at all.

  • Pipsand 19/12/2017 at 18:56

    Sadly the new DMs are pretty poor. Soloavir are good though getting more expensive by the week – if you can find a pair of deadstock Loake/DMs or Hawkins with DM soles then you are in business.

  • Coco 25/01/2018 at 13:10

    Very interesting blog……and a result for you in getting a replacement pair of shoes. It pays to be persistent as they are a multi national company so should have no hesitation n replacing faulty goods.
    I ‘ve been wearing Dr.Martens since 1976 and, whatever the company says, they are certainly not the same quality that they used to be. I’m not convinced there’s a lot of difference in the leather upper – it’s the sole unit which is drastically different. The Asian soles are thinner, wear out quicker, seem to be flimsier and less dense in composition than the “old” Docs – clearly not made with the same material.
    It’s a pity that really as Dr.Martens were a British institution and now they are just a trendy footwear retailer. I always buy the MIE boots or solovair or even second hand on ebay.

  • Alban @ William John Lisen 29/01/2018 at 12:09

    I have a split sole of Dr Marten shoe and the cobbler does not know how to repair, so what can I do. Do I need to send to Dr. Marten factory t o repair.

  • Alban @ William John Lisen 29/01/2018 at 12:11

    I have 5 Dr Marten shoe so I want to know where to sent my split sole shoe.

  • carl 30/01/2018 at 18:10

    Hi. .dr marten say they will only take them back if purchased from a dr marten store… If not then they have to be retured to the retailer you originally got them from (so they can presumably send them to dr marten lol) seems like they don’t want to accept responsibility for faulty goods but good luck getting repair/replacement

  • Keith Benson 29/03/2018 at 18:56

    I’ve sent three pair back for that “sole split” problem where the two layers have separated. All Thai manufactured. They replaced the first two, currently waiting to hear about the third. I love the look of Docs but may have to stick to MIE’s in the future. Hope they address the problem or they’re going to lose their customers. K

    • nick 29/03/2018 at 19:21

      It’s good to hear they are standing behind their product at least!

  • Adam Elliott 19/04/2018 at 23:34

    oh gosh – happened to me too, but how do you send shoes anywhere from Papua New Guinea!!

  • Michael 05/05/2018 at 12:25

    Same problem here. The shoes broke at exactly the same part of the sole. Contacted Doc Martens, they requested pics but now are writing there’s nothing they can or will do and that I should talk to the retailer which says there’s nothing they can or will do as the shoes are out of warranty and that it is a manufacturing defect anyway. Shoes for 170 Euros down the drain because some company decided making (more) money is more important than quality. Shame on you Doc Martens.

  • Peter 17/05/2018 at 11:05

    Go to their facebook and voice your opinion, post pictures, other people are doing the same right now!

  • Peter 06/06/2018 at 19:15

    We opened up a Facebook group for people with the same kind of problems, feel free to join!


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.